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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Jan 11, 2009 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

Normalizing just takes the highest peak in volume and makes that the maximum peak. It doesn't change dynamics, that would be the duty of a limiter or compressor. You should always normalize so the signal is hottest with the least noise before it hits the amp and makes more.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 11, 2009 9:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

Hey NC--thanks, but showing my ignorance, I am not sure if I understand the expected outcome. What appears to be the case, from my twit like understanding, is that I have two tracks, one from one source, and one from another. To put it really simply, the one "sounds" louder than the other if I just use Nero to add them to a single Audio CD (if I played the original source disks, all tracks with each respect track I am speaking of sound similar in intensity).

So, I was thinking this normalize function would set a certain "overall intensity level" so that each track would sound to my ear, similar. But not sure that is what you are describing...or is it?

The whole notion of track having "inherent intensity" seems odd to me anyhow in this digital age. Sorta like when we used to make "hits" cassettes, a song from another cassette might sound low, while one from a record would sound high, but you could set the recording levels the same to compensate so the "hits" tape had all songs at roughly the same levels...

Does that make sense?

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Poster: Edsel Date: Jan 11, 2009 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

Like NC said, normalizing will only raise the highest peak to a value you set. Suppose there is a pop, or some other loud noise causing a temporary peak in the recording, that will be the peak. You could go through the entire recording and reduce those ugly peaks to the same level as the rest of the recording, then normalize the track, or use a compressor to "level" the track, but be careful with compression, it can do some odd things if you get carried away with it.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Jan 11, 2009 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

Most music today is heavily compressed in comparison to older stuff. Since going over in the red on the volume meter means popping with digital as opposed to tube warmth with analog, more effort is made to keep the highest levels from clipping and increasing the total volume.

If you burn a CD and the maximum volume is -6db that means that you are only using like 12 bits of your 16 bit medium. The additional volume you need to turn it up on your reciever is noise and distortion laden.

There are people adamently opposed to compression as they feel it kills the dynamics. Normalizing is different than compression where you are turning some things up that are below a specific threshhold while turing others down that exceed that threshold. Normalizing simply looks at the sound file graphically and says, wow that drum roll at 3:10 is the loudest sound and it's 2db lower than the maximum allowed volume so let's turn the whole thing up 1.9db so the overall sound is louder. Less amplification is needed and therefore less noise.

If the original recording level is low, you are also turning up the noise as well but recorded noise is not as loud as amplified noise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_normalization

http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/radio/ACE-EM-SIG/QuickTipsArchives/nasium.htm

http://www.turnmeup.org/

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 11, 2009 12:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

Thanks, as usual, NC (& Edsel); I should've known there was a lot more going on!

That description makes perfect sense (re: increasing noise too when doing what I described!).

And thanks for the links.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Jan 11, 2009 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: More nonDEAD drivel, ? for Arb...

No problem, as was mentioned above, compression can be misused very easily (apparently even with years of experience!) and I still find myself manually lowering the volume of problem peaks in tracks by hand with a mouse and then normalizing right up to (but not to) the limit. Never normalize the audio past 99% because the next conversion or program may push it over and POP. Nothing worse than clipped digital audio, nothing you can do to fix it.

When dealing with live recordings, unexpected feedback wails, crowd noise and microphone handling noises might stick out so much graphically that they are easy to zoom in on, lower precisely and therefore allow you to raise the overall volume.

Dynamics are great for expression in music but there is nothing more annoying than volume incontinuity from song to song in a mix on an album, which the very concept of is disappearing slowly anyway. But for us 20th century purists who think anyone can make a good song but not everyone can make a great album, the flow from one song to the next is as important as the flow from one chord or one verse to the next inside the individual songs.

Turn on the classical radio station next time you are driving and roll the windows down. You are hearing the last uncompressed music, or I should say you are not hearing the silent, stirring parts. Wind noise wiil cover up anything that is not being played at maximum volume and you will find yourself turning up the volume until the overture comes blasting back in rattling your cheap stock carboard woofers while you ignore the road texting your friends and feeding your virtual pet on your iphoney.